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April 22nd 2019
Published: April 23rd 2019
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La fontaine MédicisLa fontaine MédicisLa fontaine Médicis

The fountain was built in the 1600s in Marie de' Medici's palace but moved into what is now the Luxembourg gardens in the 1860s. It is a beautiful sight tucked away in a corner of the gardens. Easy to miss but worth the visit.
We were rapidly coming to the end of our Paris stay. Funny how long a week seems when you’re waiting for it and how fast it goes when you are having fun.

The Louvre

Anyone who has been to the Louvre knows you can’t possibly see everything in one visit. Luckily we had been there before so we were able to concentrate on one area of interest: Egyptian antiquities. We hadn’t booked tickets for a particular time so we got there half an hour early and were near the front of the line. Of course, they let in those who had tickets for opening time but we were in in no time. Again, it is so big the people spread out pretty fast.

We headed off to the Egyptian section but made a slightly wrong turn and ended up in the section where they discussed the origins of the Louvre as a fortress, then a palace, then a museum. Like the D’Orsay, I found the Louvre as a building as fascinating as its contents.

We weren’t going to visit the Mona Lisa because last time we were here the crowds were ridiculous. Not sure if they have
Pop-up restaurantPop-up restaurantPop-up restaurant

On our way to the Louvre we passed through this restaurant that intrigued us. I wanted to go back at closing time to see it fold up.
changed the setting for this famous picture but it is in a huge room both in area and in height. We followed the crowd and found ourselves gazing at it from afar. The pictures we took show that it is still extremely popular. We satisfied ourselves with having seen it at all. Even in one “limited” section of the Louvre there are many hallways, rooms and possibilities for getting lost, which we did. I came to the conclusion that the people who work there are not there to protect the art work, they are to help people find the exit.

The Louvre pyramid where the entrance is now located is pretty famous in its own right. You know you want to go there to pick up your stored packs but how do you get there from here? We had to ask for help. An interesting thing I read about the pyramid is that it was very unpopular when it was installed because it is so modern in such a historical monument. Now it is a real feature. People are funny.

The Bastille

Apparently many people go to the Place de la Bastille expecting to see the fortress
Calm before the stormCalm before the stormCalm before the storm

We got to the line up at the Louvre pretty early. By the time we got to go in, these crowd control lanes were full.
that was stormed in 1792. It is long gone although there are markings on the pavement showing where parts of it were located. There is a massive renovation project underway that won’t be complete until 2020 (or later). Still, it was interesting to see the July Column that was erected in 1840.

You can see this column as you stroll along the Canal Saint Martin which we had seen before but didn’t realize it extends under the roundabout where the column is situated and goes another 4 kilometres. I found this out later or our walk could have been longer.

The cemetery

The Père Lachaise cemetery is the largest cemetery in France. I was thinking our interest in cemeteries was a little weird until I found out there are 3.5 million visitors to this cemetery each year. It is served by 3 metro stops! It has three WWI memorials. When it was first opened in 1804 it was considered too far from the city (no metro then) but by 1812 there were hundreds of burials each year. Then in 1817 the purported remains of Pierre Abélard and Héloïse d'Argenteuil were moved to this cemetery and that did the
Footings of the old fortressFootings of the old fortressFootings of the old fortress

Incredible what they have been able to uncover and restore.
trick. The cemetery was expanded several times in the 1800s and now has over a million burials and many more in the columbarium. Dianne was very familiar with the legendary love story between these two 12th century characters. Based on the notes tucked into their crypt I would say many others were too. I was interested in seeing the tomb of Oscar Wilde. There is quite a map showing the tombs of many famous people.

The next step

Now the "travel" portion of our trip begins in earnest. We had several places in mind once we had arranged our cat sitting gigs. We should have paid more attention to the distances between the places we liked. But, our agenda is what it is.

Somewhere we had run into the book series Bruno, Chief of Police which takes place in the Périgord region through which the Dordogne River flows. The descriptions in the book were pretty interesting so we decided to spend a few days there and settled on Pèrigueux as the town to stay in. It is the smallest place we have visited so it should be interesting. ToBeContinued!


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Louvre PyramidLouvre Pyramid
Louvre Pyramid

Until you know to go to the pyramid, getting into the Louvre is intimidating because it is so big.
Typical artworkTypical artwork
Typical artwork

Wall after wall is full of incredible paintings
HieroglyphicsHieroglyphics
Hieroglyphics

I would have said it was all Greek to me but these are Egyptian.
Hall after hallHall after hall
Hall after hall

It's hard to imagine what this must have been like when it was a palace. Who needs this much room? And they had Versailles too.
La JocondeLa Joconde
La Joconde

Pretty hard to get really close to the Mona Lisa. I think she is smiling when she thinks about how much people have paid to see her picture.
CrowdsCrowds
Crowds

Lots of people but lots of room. Where is that exit though?
Arc de Triomphe du CarrouselArc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

About half the size of its counterpart at the other end of the Champs-Élysées, this one used to be the entrance to the gateway to the Tuileriers Palace which was destroyed in 1871. Luckily it survived.
Tuileries GardensTuileries Gardens
Tuileries Gardens

This day was nice enough for people to enjoy the chairs in the gardens.
Lawn maintenanceLawn maintenance
Lawn maintenance

As we left the Louvre and the Tuileries gardens we came across these characters taking a break from their chore of lawn mowing.
Canal Saint MartinCanal Saint Martin
Canal Saint Martin

I was surprised to see this canal leading into the Seine. The lock drops the boats quite a ways.
Considerate boatersConsiderate boaters
Considerate boaters

This boat was kind enough to go through the lock just as we got there. Like we've never seen one go through before. Never gets old.
Colonne de JuilletColonne de Juillet
Colonne de Juillet

The July Column commemorates the July 1870 Revolution, not the 1789 Revolution which started here at the Bastille. Hard to keep it all straight
La Loir dans la Théière La Loir dans la Théière
La Loir dans la Théière

Recommended by our friend Isabelle in Montpellier, this restaurant was delightful. Friendly staff and great food. We hit a great time with no crowds.
Nothing fishy about this  mealNothing fishy about this  meal
Nothing fishy about this meal

Dianne had the cod. I had an omelette made with potatoes and Parmesan cheese. Must try that when I get home.
 Hôtel de Lamoignon Hôtel de Lamoignon
Hôtel de Lamoignon

This building was begun in the late 1500s and was the urban residence of the daughter of Henry II. Like many buildings in France, it had it ups and downs but was taken over by the City in the early 1900s where it is now a library with some incredibly old books available to the casual public (like us).
SquaresSquares
Squares

You can't walk any distance in Paris without encountering some incredible squares with fountains and surrounded by some beautiful architecture. This one had matching buildings on all four sides.
Montparnasse TowerMontparnasse Tower
Montparnasse Tower

Like the Eiffel Tower, this guy can be seen from a lot of places. We like the Eiffel Tower.
Heloise and AbelardHeloise and Abelard
Heloise and Abelard

The supposed tomb of the star crossed lovers. Quite the story.
Huge cemeteryHuge cemetery
Huge cemetery

Built on the side of a hill. Over a million burials.
Oscar Wilde's graveOscar Wilde's grave
Oscar Wilde's grave

Sad that not only is this memorial surrounded by glass panels but there is a note asking people to respect the memorial.


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